GRAM Program

The Graduate Research Assistant Mentoring Program (GRAM) is designed to provide research-active faculty with the opportunity to mentor talented graduate students through collaborative work on the faculty members' research projects. Awards will be considered internal grants, with the faculty member as PI.


Application Deadline: The deadline for applications is Friday, November 17th, 2023.

Submit your application online for the 2024-2025 funding cycle.

Note: The next competition will be for GRAM awards starting Fall 2024 and ending in Spring 2025.

Program Information

  • We anticipate continued support for up to 24 GRAM faculty at any given time (12 new and 12 continuing GRAMs each year).
  • Students are paid $14,000 per academic year for a commitment of 20 hours per week.
  • Support is guaranteed for fall and spring semesters (2024-25) with the possibility of renewal for a second year, up to four contiguous academic-year terms (excluding summers).
  • GRAM students must meet all requirements for holding a research assistantship (GRA).
  • GRAMs are not eligible for other graduate assistantships or student employment. They are eligible for all fellowships and scholarships.
  • All students selected for the GRAM program are encouraged to participate in professional development sponsored or recommended by the Graduate School:


Faculty Eligibility

  • Faculty mentors must be tenured/tenure track OR multi-year, full-time research, clinical, or professional faculty.
  • Faculty members must be willing to submit mid-term and final reports documenting the work conducted as part of the GRAM program. Reports should include record of GRAM students' participation in the professional development workshops.

Student Eligibility

New Student Eligibility

  • Regular (unconditional) admission to a main campus graduate degree program at App State;
  • Full-time enrollment of 9-12 hours (no exceptions);
  • Preference will be given for admission credentials with a minimum of 3.5 undergraduate GPA and 50th percentile on standardized test score (if available).

Continuing Student Eligibility

  • Full-time enrollment of 9-12 hours (no exceptions UNLESS student is in their final semester of enrollment, has applied to graduate, and only needs 6 sh to complete the program of study);
  • Good academic standing, with no grades below a B;
  • Participation in the Graduate School's 3MT competition;
  • Positive evaluations from faculty research mentor.

Note: It is not necessary to know the name of the GRAM student at the time you submit your application. This will be finalized at the time the GRAM appointment form is submitted in late Summer.

Program Restrictions

Faculty Restrictions

  • Faculty members must are encouraged to one (1) year after a GRAM award ends before they are eligible to reapply.  Priority in funding decisions will be given to applicants who have not been awarded a GRAM in the previous year.

Student Restrictions

  • Total stipend must be awarded to only one student in an academic year; faculty may choose to fund two students consecutively, one each academic year.
  • Maximum length of the appointment is two years; no renewals after the second year will be granted.
  • GRAM students are not eligible for any other graduate assistantships.

Application Process

  • The application must be submitted by the faculty mentor by the posted deadline.
  • The application must have the support of both the department chairperson AND another faculty member familiar with the applicant's research.
  • The application must:
    • Describe how the GRAM student will be recruited and selected;
    • Describe the faculty member's research project and outline the duties and expectations for the GRAM student;
    • Include a plan for mentoring the GRAM student in the discipline's research process in the discipline and in RCR.
  • The application must specify how the experience will give the GRAM student opportunities for one or more of the following:
    • Work that will enhance a master's thesis / capstone / product of learning
    • Conference presentation
    • Publication as co-author
    • Leadership experiences

Funded Grants


  • Will Canu, Psychology - Expanding and Evaluating Thriving in College Skills Groups for Students with ADHD at Appalachian State
  • Kara Dempsey, Geography - Best Practices for Refugee Resettlement: International Field Research Project
  • Mohammad Ali Javidian, Computer Science - Using Causal Models for Reasoning about the Performance of Modern Software Systems
  • Carol Kline, Management - Furthering the Animal Agenda in Tourism
  • Arezou Sadoughi, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment - Toward Carbon Positive Industrialized Affordable Housing: Utilization of Timber Products Remnants for Non-load Bearing Structural Components
  • Roshani Silwal, Physics - Spectroscopy of Highly Charged Ions for Astrophysical and Fundamental Physics Applications
  • Andrew Smith, Psychology - Do Stereotypes Free Up Cognitive Resources? Replicating and Extending Macrae et al. (1994)
  • Tiberiu Ungureanu, Management - The Effect of Information Gatherers (Boundary Spanners) on Strategic Decision Making
  • Herman van Werkhoven, Public Health & Exercise Science - Validation and Implementation of a Cost-Effective, User-Friendly Human Motion Tracking Framework
  • Jason Xiong, Computer Information Systems - How Blockchain Could Revolutionize Cybersecurity and Promote Equitable and Sustainable Development
  • Jon Davenport [initially awarded to Marketa Zimova], Biology - Mammal Communities of North Carolina Sky Islands


  • Maryam Ahmed, Biology - Effects of Malnutrition During Pregnancy on Malaria Immunity
  • Kristen Benson, Marriage and Family Therapy - Gendered Policies and Lived Experiences
  • Kelly Clark, Special Education - The Effects of UPGRADE Your Performance on the in-class behavior of secondary students with disabilities
  • Jon Davenport, Biology - Examining Environmental Factors that Predict Southern Appalachian Biodiversity
  • Leah Hamilton, Social Work - Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund: Mixed Methods Evaluation
  • Jennifer Howard, Athletic Training - Mental Health Need, Awareness and Use of Resources and Services in Collegiate Athletics
  • Tammy Kowalczyk, Accounting - Social and Economic Impacts of Forest Carbon Markets in the Eastern US
  • Alan Needle, Exercise Science - Neuromodulatory Treatments for the Treatment of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
  • Clare Scott Chialvo, Biology - Documenting the Occurrence and Impact of an Invasive Pest Insect, the Spotted-Winged Fruit Fly
  • Sharareh Shirzad, Sustainable Technology & the Built Environment - Performance of Sustainable Concrete Containing Plastic Wastes
  • Brooke Towner, Recreation Management - Influence of Outdoor Physical Activity during School on Teacher and Student Perceptions
  • Wei Xie, Computer Information Systems - Managing Information Security in Remote Work Environments: A Mixed- Methods Study


  • Sayan Chandra [Chris Thaxton, Spring 2023], Physics and Astronomy
  • Adrienne Erazo, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
  • Reza Foroughi, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment
  • Susan Hedges, Reading Education and Special Education
  • Rebecca Payne Jordan, Reading Education and Special Education
  • Arezou Sadoughi, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment
  • Kathleen Schroeder, Geography and Planning
  • Jonathon Stickford [Becka Kappus, Spring 2023], Health and Exercise Science
  • Maggie Sugg, Geography and Planning
  • Shea Tuberty, Biology
  • Twila Wingrove, Psychology